What’s an open source software for building a private cloud?

Anonymous September 3, 2014
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Lately I’ve been trying to get my hands on an open sourced software that allows one to build a private cloud for free and I’ve not been all out of luck.

I did come across a few softwares (like XEN, Eucalyptus, etc) that serve this purpose well but sadly they either require a Linux operating system to run or are too complicated for amateurs like me.

I want to build a private cloud for my college where students can save and share all their important documents. I’d like to know if there are any software solutions which may help me out with this at minimum possible cost. I know it might be too much to ask but can you guys even review or maybe explain one of these software (which can run on Windows as well) in one of your articles because honestly even though I have read about them in some tech gazettes I think I’m addicted to your style of explaining tech stuff.

So, to sum it up, if someone could write an article on one such software, it would be just too awesome. But if that’s not possible, any assistance on this issue would be much appreciated.

  1. Leszek
    September 6, 2014 at 10:56 pm


    Also check "Syncthing" available on: http://syncthing.net/
    I haven't tried it yet but if i get a chance i will check it.

    • Dinika S
      September 9, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Syncthing looks promising. I'll dig deeper, just to be sure if it really is the best option I have .
      Thank you !

  2. Howard B
    September 4, 2014 at 11:36 pm

    Are you trying to build a totally private (as in "in your home, only available on your home LAN") cloud, or something you can buy hosting for, set up, and access from anywhere? If it's a hosted cloud, there's no reason to worry about Linux - you will hardly ever have to worry about the underlying OS, as around two thirds of the web runs on Linux, and only tech geeks have to worry about the Command Line; almost everything is run through a web interface.

    • Dinika S
      September 5, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Well I'm planning to build a private cloud for my college which lets students save all their files onto the server. At the initial level I guess I'd be okay with a "totally private cloud" since I don't have much funds (and I haven't yet communicated my idea to the Principal) . Maybe once I'm already there I'd host it. Having said that how much do you think hosting costs? Also now that you mentioned it I have a doubt. All the PCs in every computer lab of my college are connected by LAN. Students can already share their files via LAN and save them on the serve. What difference would building a private cloud bring?
      Also if I'm going for the first type of Private cloud that you mentioned (the kind with no hosting) would I have to be particular about the OS I'm using to build it

      PS - I'm not particularly a geek so I hope you wouldn't mind my lack of technical know-how.

    • Howard B
      September 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

      Aside from file storage (which you already have, with a server), the other use for a cloud is apps - programs you can access via a web browser, like you would with Google Docs or Office Online.
      If you have a spare computer, the OS is not really relevant - you can load up Ubuntu Server or any recent version of Windows, and, to the end user, it won't be apparent which type of web server you're using; you could even use a laptop with a large enough HD (probably an external one, as laptop drives over 1TB aren't available yet, and the 1TB ones are expensive).
      If you have a college-maintained fileserver, why not asking the IT director (and the dean) if you can host an app server on the college system? Perhaps they already do, but don't advertise it much...

    • Dinika S
      September 9, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Thanks for the information.
      I asked the IT director. We don't yet have an app server.
      If I install Virtual Ubuntu OS on the server and then use softwares like XNS (which are compatible only with Linux OS) to build a cloud will it work fine ?

    • Howard B
      September 9, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      I don't see why not. Thousands of web servers use virtualized Linux to run "virtual private servers," which are private (non-shared) servers running in a virtualized OS in order to partition one virtual machine from another (crashing a virtual machine won't affect anyone else). I'd recommend looking around at different Linux server packages before deciding on Ubuntu; CentOS is also a good server OS, and it may be more lightweight or robust than Ubuntu Server. (Many people hear "Linux" and only think "Ubuntu"; there are thousands of distributions out there, and each serves a different need).

    • Dinika S
      September 12, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Thanks for all the information. It really helped. I talked to some Professors at my college and we are on our way to building our very own cloud !

  3. Edwin H
    September 4, 2014 at 3:58 am
    • Dinika S
      September 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      Thanks I'll fish through these links to see if they can be of help. I read about Eucalyptus in one of the tech magazines. It's cool but sadly it requires Linux (I think).
      Thanks anyways !

  4. Howard B
    September 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm

    OwnCloud - open source and easily extendable.

    • Dinika S
      September 3, 2014 at 10:07 pm

      Thanks for the help. I am trying to make something of it. The "host OwnCloud" looks like what I might be looking for. I'll dig deeper.

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